Resetting the Race Calendar and Reorganizing my Goals

I had been putting off looking at my race calendar, knowing I’d have to miss most of what I have scheduled. Last weekend was particularly bittersweet watching social media blow up during the Princess Half Marathon–I was registered for all three events during the weekend but couldn’t participate in any of them. I gave myself one day to throw a pity party, and now I’m ready to reassess and reorganize my goals.

Up until this point, a race has always been the end result, and all my training geared to an event. Without that structure, I had to think outside the (running shoe) box.

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I thought a lot about my previous goals and what worked and didn’t. I’ve often fallen off the wagon when it comes to exercise and healthy eating, so my priority was to make goals that I could reach and a realistic timeline to do them in. So I have come up with “long term” goals and a plan to meet them by mid summer, breaking the time up into three 6 week-ish chunks.

Long Term Goals (goal deadline: middle of July):

  • Get down to my happy weight, which means losing 20 pounds.
  • Bring my body fat percentage down to between 21-22% (I’m close to 29% right now).
  • Cut out soda entirely. 
  • Be eating clean/whole foods 95% of the time.
  • Take a stand up paddle boarding class (I’ve always wanted to do this, but I’ve never had the core strength).

My plan of attack for the first segment of time (through mid-April):

  • Start things off with a whole food cleanse the first week of March. More about that on Monday!
  • Focus on full body circuit training and strength training I can do at home so that I have no excuse to skip workouts. 
  • Continue with yoga–I’ve found that I really enjoy doing it at the end of my workout.
  • Walk in the Atlanta Women’s 5K and the Morningside Mile at the end of March.  

I’ll see how I do with my short term goals, and I can tweak the plan as I need to for the second chunk of time in the spring. I’m actually looking forward to getting started!

How are your new years resolutions going? Do you set short and long term goals?

Reasons I Don’t Want to…And Reasons I Will, Anyway.

It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means…Tuesdays on the Run! I’m linking up with Patty, Erika and April to talk about motivation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately…probably because the weather is dreary and instead of working out, I want to eat warm things and hibernate.

Reasons I don’t want to exercise:

  • It’s cold. And going to the gym would mean I have to take off my clothes and put workout clothes on.
  • I don’t like getting up early.
  • I’m busy.
  • I’m tired.
  • Have I mentioned it’s cold out?
  • I have to make dinner/play with my kid/check Twitter again.
  • There’s other people at the gym. They might look at me.

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  • Working out makes me sore.

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And reasons I will anyway:

  • Because I want my son to see fitness as a normal part of life, and not struggle with as I have coming to it late in the game.
  • Because I want to boost my immune system. After getting mono last year and continuing to catch every cold, sniffle and bug that came along, I really need to work on making myself stronger on the inside, too.
  • Because my dad died from complications of multiple sclerosis when I was in my early 20s, and I don’t want my family to go through what I went through during his long illness.
  • Because I bought an adorable bikini from Athleta last year and I would really like to wear it.
  • Because I want to be comfortable in my own skin, and right now I feel a little too stretched out in places.
  • Because I want to have more energy. Nice weather is coming, and soon I won’t want to hibernate.

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What are your worst excuses? And what are the reasons you ignore them?

Things That Go Through Your Head During Your First Yoga Class

Since I’m expanding my fitness from just running this year, I’m really making an effort to try new classes. I’ve been doing yoga at home off and on for years, but I’ve never taken a regular class. I recently found one I really like, but I’m realizing it’s going to be awhile before I can bend my body into some of those poses easily enough to actually relax while I’m doing it.

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Some of the things that went through my head during my first real class…

…”So my leg goes here and my elbow goes here and…the rest of me falls over.”

…”You want me to sit like how and bend and touch my what?”

…”Breathe in…count to five. Breathe out…count to three. Or was it five? Or ten? Oh crap, just breathe.”

…”If that perky little 100-pounds-soaking-wet-wearing-the-latest-lulumom complains about how chubby she is ONE MORE TIME…”

“How is anyone supposed to relax bent like this?”

“…Okay, this end of class laying down pose is something I could get used to. Very relaxing. Very…Zzzzzz….”

What are your biggest challenges when you start a new class?

Eat and Run

It’s Tuesday again and that means another Tuesday on the Run, hosted by the lovely April, Erika and Patty. Today’s topic: nutrition.

When I began to run, one of the first things I realized was that the way I had been eating wasn’t going to cut it. In the early days of pounding the pavement, I made these mistakes:

  • I never ate breakfast. I tried to be an early morning runner without eating anything before I went out for a run.
  • I thought being a runner meant eating a lot of carbs.
  • I didn’t get enough protein.
  • I was terrible about hydration.
  • I thought running meant I could eat anything I wanted, guilt-free. Oh, if only.

It didn’t take long into training for my first race to realize I had to make some real changes, and quick. I did a lot of research and was quickly overwhelmed by all of the information out there–and a lot of it was conflicting. I read what seemed like every book on the topic, and my favorite one was The Runner’s Diet from Runner’s World magazine. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it! It does a really great job of breaking it all down: figuring out calorie intake, protein and carb ratio and offers detailed plans of what to eat and when to eat it. I still pick it up often and find it useful.

But what really came out of all my research was this: every runner has to figure out what works for their own body.

For example, I know I need to eat a good hour before I start a race–any later and I cramp up. My favorite pre-race food is a  nuts over chocolate Luna Bar (also my favorite thing to eat before early morning exercise classes!). If I’m going to do anything over a 5k, I bring these babies. The vanilla is my favorite.

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You’ll notice there is no vanilla here, because I eat them first!

Ironically, the thing I want most after a run is a banana. It’s ironic because any other time I despise bananas.

I know I can’t handle anything new or unexpected the night before a race. I usually get jumpy before a race–and nerves and new food isn’t a good combination. My favorite “night before” meal is a bowl of spaghetti with my favorite sauce and ground turkey.

I struggle with a bit with my protein intake. I’m a picky eater and I don’t eat a lot of meat, so I’ve had to get creative with finding sources of protein I like. My favorite post-workout protein fix is a smoothie. I’ve been known to have my husband make one as I’m walking home from the gym so it is ready for me when I get home!

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After a lot of trial and error, here is what I know about myself and hydration: I need to stop at every water stop there is. And if I can’t find a list of where the water stops are going to be, I bring my own bottle. I live in Georgia where it is humid all year and the hills are rolling. Does this mean I pee a lot on race courses and when I’m out training on my own? Yep. In fact, I plan my training runs around places that have public restrooms (because I refuse to pee outside. I just can’t bring myself to do it, despite the years of Girl Scout training I had).

Probably the biggest misconception I had when I started running was that it gave me the all clear to eat whatever I wanted. Nope. When I was reading The Runner’s Diet one of the things that hit home with me was this bit of information:

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One mile. 100 calories. That’s it. That means a 5k doesn’t cancel out the giant hot fudge sundae you scarf down afterwards. A little depressing, isn’t it?

Of course, I also believe that life is short, and if you want a sundae (or reeses pieces covered rice crispy Mickey treat, as the case may be)–well, you should eat it! Just make sure you’re eating the bananas and drinking enough water, too.

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What did running teach you about nutrition?